Topic

Sexual Assault

293 petitions

This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights

On a brisk October afternoon, I left for an appointment at a rape crisis center. Fifteen minutes later, I faced a challenge more daunting than the rape that brought me there: America's unequal justice system for rape survivors.I struggled to have my basic rights recognized by the criminal justice system. Through my fight, I learned that survivor rights are not equal across the US. Over forty states have backlogs in untested kits. Some states do not cover the full medical expenses of a kit, leaving survivors to pay their own way towards justice.A handful of states don’t even notify the survivor when they permanently dispose of a rape kit. Instead, different states provide different rights. Even worse, no states provide survivors with all of the common-sense rights they deserve.My fight is not mine alone. Instead, it is a crisis for 25 million survivors across America, and I've come together with citizens, advocates, and legislators to do something about it. We're fighting for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for all survivors, including: The right to be notified of your rights in clear language The right to know your own medical information from your own rape kit The right not to have to pay for your own rape kit The right to a copy of your own police report After my experience, I wanted to help others. So I started an organization called Rise, dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors. Today, we're close to an important victory. We've introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress that would help protect these rights across our country, so that justice does not depend on geography. But we need your help.Join us by signing this petition and calling on your Senators and Representatives to pass this important legislation now. Amanda Nguyen President & Founder, Rise

Amanda Nguyen
140,304 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Larry Hogan, C. T. Wilson, Larry Hogan

S.A.V.E. (Sex Abuse Victims Emerge) Our Children

With the recent support for the #metoo movement, we began to see the growing impact of sexual assault in America. In more recent news, with #whyididntreport, a movement revolved around Christine Blasey Ford's claims against, newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault some 35 or so years ago. Although light is being shed upon these horrific violations against women and children, the mental anguish still exists in a country that does not hold those accused, accountable for their actions.I'm fighting to change that and I need your help. In  2017, Maryland Delegate C.T. Wilson came before the Senate committee to pass a Bill giving a chance to those who were abused as children longer times to file claims against their abusers. House Bill 642 was signed by Governor Larry Hogan on April 4, 2017 and went into effect as of October 1, 2017. The previous Maryland law allowed 3 years after the incident occurred. So this is progress, but there's still work to be done. Bill 642 increases the window of time a victim of child sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit from age 25 to 38, however is NOT retroactive. So like myself, that leaves many victims feeling victimized by the system again.The #whyididntreport movement is so powerful because we all have very understandable circumstances and in some cases consequences that made reporting not an option. My sexual and physical abuse encounters occurred starting at the age of 12. I will never forget my stepfather putting a pillow over my face as I cried while he performed oral sex on me and afterwards forcing me to perform it on him. I will never forget how I couldn't eat at the kitchen table without him walking up from behind me as I ate, fondling my breast. I will never forget how I used to be afraid to walk out of my bathroom in the morning for fear that he would be standing in the hall waiting to shove his tounge down my throat.  Yes, this happened frequently.  I will never forget the beatings with extension cords and work belts just because it was a good day to beat Samira...one time in particular dragging me out of my bed to come in the basement where there were chairs set up in front of a sofa where I was forced to get naked and lay flat while my mother and siblings were seated and made to watch as if it was opening night at the movies. I will never forget how I was eventually given away to family I did not know in another state with just trash bags of my clothes one day after school, never seeing my home again and siblings for a few years, just to come back after begging my mother for her love and it happening again...the physical and sexual abuse. Only this time I get moved out of the store we were living in, and sent to his parents basement to live. All this after he admitted again his sexual violations of me. I also will never forget how at that time the reason #whyididntreport is because I was more concerned for my mother and siblings and what could happen to them if I reported. I was more concerned for everyone else's livelihood before my own.  The even more troubling part to this is how my abuser told me to my face at the age of 16, in front of my mother, inside the community corner store he still currently owns, that he did what he did to me, “because I’m not his daughter.” Again...nothing done. This is a man who still exists in a community filled with children who frequent his store daily…a store that he can open and close whenever he pleases to do inside whatever he pleases.  This is NOT someone who should be in the community with the access to destroy more lives, all because he was never held accountable on the account of SOL (Statute of Limitations) laws that protect him and not his prey. This is why we need to fight to have House Bill 642 amended to completely eliminate SOL in the state of Maryland. No abuser should be allowed to go without consequences for their actions because of a period of time that has lapsed. No victim should feel victimized again for having the courage to speak about it when they're able. This means even if it is 35 years after the incident occurred. Whether it is 5, 10, 35, or more, it doesn't change the FACT THAT IT HAPPENED.  Please support this petition by signing and giving your support to those of us who deserve justice, as well as protect those who still have their innocence. Children have the right to expect to be protected from harm. Don't let this cycle of dysfunction continue. Samira Jones Founder & Advocate, S.A.V.E. Our Children

Samira Jones
276 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Bruce Poliquin, Chellie Pingree

Urge Maine Congressional Reps to Support the (VAWA) Violence Against Women's Act 2018

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark law to combat sexual and domestic assault and fund victims' services and prevention programs, was set to lapse, its expiration date September 30. Fortunately, a stopgap spending bill signed by Trump in the eleventh hour to avoid a government shutdown included a brief extension of VAWA through December 7. Time is still quite limited for Congress to act. Yet the need is urgent. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Violence-Against-Women-Act https://www.vawamei.org Update 10/11: In consideration of a statement received by the MCEDV (Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence) regarding their efforts to include an amendment to extend native protections in the bill to Maine's Wabanaki Tribes, I have updated this petition with a statement in support of those efforts. __________________________________________________________________ Dear Maine Congressional Representatives, We the undersigned urge you to support H.R. 6545 —Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018. This bill includes vital protections for victims, prevention initiatives, and support for programs that assist survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and more. H.R. 6545 also adds critical new improvements, including:  -Strengthening housing protections for survivors;-Supporting expansions of prevention and education programs; and-Closing loopholes to reduce gun violence related to domestic violence.  VAWA is essential to ending domestic violence and abuse, and it must be reauthorized this year.  As you know, the statistics regarding Maine’s rates of domestic violence are troubling: -In Maine, a domestic violence assault is reported to law enforcement every 1 hour and 52 minutes.(1)-Each year, domestic violence accounts for about half of the assaults reported to Maine law enforcement. In 2016, domestic violence assaults comprised 45.3% of the total.(2)-Over the past ten years, domestic homicides accounted for 47% of Maine’s total homicides. (3) These statistics reflect a dark reality for many Maine people. The grant support allowed through the VAWA provides hope and tangible outcomes to affected Maine victims and families including: -Providing extensive resources and training for law enforcement throughout Maine, including funding for several dedicated Domestic Violence Investigators and Sexual Assault Investigators across the state. -Funding for Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence ("SADV") Prosecutors, Victims Witness Advocates, and legal aid for low-income and rural victims.-Improved medical and forensic care for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in hospitals.-Advocacy and transitional housing support for domestic violence victims experiencing homelessness. A complete list of grants awarded in Maine under the STOP Violence Against Women Act Grant Program from July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2017 can be viewed online:https://www.maine.gov/dps/grants/documents/2016-vawa-program-summary.pdf Please make protecting vulnerable Mainers from violence a priority and support this bill.  We additionally ask that you work with the bill's sponsors to include an amendment that will extend the benefits of protections to Maine's Wabanaki Tribes already afforded to most of the nation's other tribes under the bill.  These protections include the option for tribes to prosecute cases of domestic violence in their tribal courts where jurisdiction applies.  This provision would remove obstacles towards safety and justice for Wabanaki women and children, as well as, close jurisdictional gaps and empower tribal authorities to ensure safety and lawfulness within their own communities.  Thank you for your attention to this matter and for standing with us and working towards a society free of family and community violence.   Sincerely, Your Maine Constituents   (1) Maine Dept. of Public Safety. “Crime in Maine 2016.” http://www.maine.gov/dps/cim/crime_in_maine/2016pdf/Crime%202016.pdf (2) Truman & Morgan. “Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003-2012.” 2014(3) 2016 Report of the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panelhttps://www.maine.gov/ag/docs/2016 Report of the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel.pdf

Allison Harrell
22 supporters